NEPCA will meet on the campus of Providence College in Providence, RI October 24-25, 2014.
For conference information, click on the FALL CONFERENCE tab above. This will take you to a page where you find all the materials you need. Scroll down to “How Do I Submit a Proposal?”
It looks like the wettest part of the week will pass through on Thursday. Friday morning will be unsettled, but the rest of the weekend looks good. The forecast as of 9 am Thursday is:
Friday: Rain in the morning, partly sunny shortly after noon. High 59, low 46
Saturday: Partly sunny. High 61 and low 46. Bring a warm jacket if you’re staying for Water Fire.
Sunday looks good for those heading home on that day.
Call for Papers – New England Studies. The 2015 Popular Culture Association Conference will be
held in New Orleans, Louisiana, from April 1-4. The New England Studies Area invites presentations
on any aspect of New England popular culture: Film; Literature; Politics; History; Music; Food; Sports;
Celebrities; Entertainment; Gambling/Casinos; Fishing Industry; Tourism, Economics, and numerous
Boston-based topics such as the following might be of special interest: Films made in the Boston area;
Infamous figures such as Whitey Bulger or the Boston Strangler; Boston Marathon tragedy/”Boston
Strong”; Boston sports teams; and Boston politics
Please submit a proposal to only one area at a time. All proposals and abstracts must be submitted
through the PCA Database. See the website at email@example.com. Presentations should be 15-20 minutes
in length and lively in nature! The deadline for the submission of a 200-word abstract is November 1,
2013 (earlier than usual)! Acceptance will be earlier than usual as well to enhance your ability to seek
funding. Although all proposals should be submitted to the PCA Database directly, please also cc me at
firstname.lastname@example.org); include university affiliation (if applicable), telephone number, and
e-mail address. Graduate students welcome. Individual and full panel proposals are considered. Please
feel confident about attendance if you are accepted.
Carol E. Mitchell, Ph. D.
216 Weiser Hall
Indians and Wannabes: Native American Powwow Dancing in the Northeast and Beyond, by Ann M. Axtmann, Gainesville, FL: University of Florida Press, 2013.
Note: This book won NEPCA’s 2013 Peter Rollins Prize as the best book on a popular/American culture subject.
In Ann M. Axtmann’s first published book, she explores Native American powwows, specifically in the Northeast. An independent scholar and trained dancer who performed with dance companies such as the Joffrey Ballet and the American Ballet Theater, Axtmann spent 14 years doing field work by attending powwows in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, and Washington, D.C. Her approach to powwows through a lens of dance and movement studies is novel, thorough, and complex. She breaks new ground in this area of scholarly inquiry by asking larger theoretical questions dealing with power and by studying how moving bodies create knowledge. Axtmann’s research seeks to “acknowledge the importance of what we viscerally live and express through the body” (5). She does this through explaining the historical practice of powwows as ways to celebrate cultural traditions and connects it to how powwows are still enacted today as a means of creating community. She also weaves in references to representations of powwows in popular culture shown through songs, television, novels, photojournalism, and film.
Through utilizing multiple methods including fieldwork, archival research, and analysis, Axtmann is able to provide a descriptive picture of the history and current performance of powwows by Native Americans and spectators. Specifically, she deals with how “dance is present in the history of powwow, space and time, transcultural exchange, and performances of race” (162). Axtmann explores the varied dance styles of powwows. She details the construction of powwow dancing through describing the arenas in which powwows are located, the formation of the circle to the relevance of the performance space, the physical elements of powwows, and the focus on the center of the arena. She claims powwows are “distinguished by the combined forces of circularity and exposed space, whether they are inside or outside” (57). Additionally, Axtmann explains the differences between male and female dance styles and how these relate to gender roles in Native American culture.
A key strength of Axtmann’s book is her discussion of participants and spectators of powwow dancing and how both work to create the performances as well as define them. Axtmann keenly describes the experience of watching powwows through a non-Native American lens recognizing that she will never be more than a temporary visitor to these events. She also works to clarify how non-Native American spectators become a part of the powwow culture. Through an explanation of the use of a front region, or an area open to everyone, and back region, or a space reserved only for Native Americans in the performance arena, Axtmann paints a clear picture of how people are both welcomed into the performance while at the same time held at a distance. Axtmann explains, “Even the casual visitor or tourist engages in exchanges with other powwow participants. And all powwowers act, interact, and give and take while together producing a ‘new phenomenon, original and independent’ in Indian country and the United States” (87-88). She tackles the question of what it means to “perform Indian” with fervor and sensitivity while exploring contemporary wannabes and hobbyists who are non-Native Americans seeking to be a part of the culture
The usefulness of Axtmann’s book for scholars in popular culture and American culture is multifaceted. Obviously, individuals teaching in areas of dance, movement and performance studies will benefit from the incorporation of such a thorough and engaging text in their classes. However, even those unfamiliar with dance but who study or teach in the disciplines of cultural studies, Native American cultures, and those exploring the enactment of race and race relations will find this text of great use. In order to be accessible to all readers, Axtmann does an exceptional job defining terms related to Native Americans and dance. Much like powwows of today cross the borders from Native Americans to spectators and from one tribal unit to another, Axtmann approaches powwows in a way that crosses disciplinary boundaries thus allowing readers to utilize this book in a variety of settings.
Andi M. McClanahan, Ph.D.
East Stroudsburg University of PA
The USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research invites applications from senior scholars for its 2015-2016 Center Research Fellow. The fellowship provides $30,000 support and will be awarded to an outstanding candidate from any discipline, who will advance genocide research through the use of the Visual History Archive (VHA) of the USC Shoah Foundation and other USC resources. The incumbent will spend one semester in residence at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research during the 2015-2016 academic year. The chosen fellow will be expected to provide the Center with fresh research perspectives, to play a role in Center activities, and to give a public talk during his or her stay.
Award decisions for this fellowship will be based on the originality of the research proposal and its potential to advance research within the field of Holocaust and genocide studies.
The USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research distinguishes itself from other Holocaust and Genocide centers and institutes by offering access to unique research resources and by focusing its research efforts on the interdisciplinary study of currently under-researched areas. While the Center does encourage and foster innovative scholarly research from all areas of genocide studies, it is particularly interested in the following themes: the interdisciplinary study of mass violence and resistance; interdisciplinary research on violence, emotion and behavioral change; and digital genocide research.
USC is the home of internationally unique and growing research resources, which include over 53,000 audio-visual testimonies of genocide survivors and other witnesses contained in the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive, a Holocaust and genocide studies collection at Doheny Memorial Library with 13,000 primary and secondary sources, and a Special Collection containing private papers of German and Austrian Jewish emigrants from the Third Reich including the collection of the prominent German Jewish writer Lion Feuchtwanger.
To submit an application, please send a cover letter, CV and research proposal (max. 3 pages) discussing the topic, methodological approach and relevant USC resources by Monday December 1st, 2014 to email@example.com.
The Centre for Media and Celebrity (CMCS), in association with the Centre for Ecological, Social, and Informatics Cognitive Research (ESI.CORE), invites cross-disciplinary panel, paper and workshop proposals for the international conference Bridging Gaps – Higher Education, Media and Society. Accepted papers will be published as an open access edited book. Extended version of selected best papers will be published in a peer-reviewed journal. Website details: http://cmc-centre.com/conference2015/
• 250-word abstract or panel / workshop proposal
• Include a title, your name, e-mail address, and affiliation if applicable
• Submit to conference Chair Dr. Louis Massey at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Deadline for submission: November 30, 2014
• Notification of acceptance: January 15, 2015
The Popular Culture Association of American American Culture Association reminds that November 1 is the deadline to submit proposals for the 2015 conference in New Orleans. Click here for more details.